Taiwan’s government said on Wednesday it would exercise its right of self-defense and counterattack if Chinese armed forces enter the territory, as Beijing ramps up military action near the island.
Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its territory against strong government objections in Taipei, has been holding military exercises around the island this month in reaction to a visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Taiwan’s defense officials said China’s military patrols near Taiwan continued and that Beijing’s intention to turn the Taiwan Strait that separates the two sides into its “inland sea” was the main source of instability in the region.
“For aircraft and ships that enter our maritime and air territory, the National Army will exercise the right of self-defense and counter-attack without exception,” said Lin Wen-Huang, deputy chief of the General Staff of Operations and Planning, in interview.
Taiwan has complained of Chinese drones repeatedly flying near its small island groups off the coast of China.
The military will exercise the same right to counterattack Chinese drones that fail to heed warnings to leave the territory after posing threats, Lin added.
Taiwan fired warning shots at a Chinese drone for the first time on Tuesday, shortly after President Tsai Ing-wen ordered the Taiwan military to take “strong countermeasures” against what she called Chinese provocations.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian reiterated the Chinese position that Taiwan belongs to it.
“First of all, I need to tell you that Taiwan is a province of China, it doesn’t have the so-called Ministry of Defense. The Taiwan authorities are acting nervously, that makes no sense,” he said.
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Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News